Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
November 13th, 2017
Benefits & Administration
Higher Education Plan Sponsors Ramp Up IPS Usage
Transamerica has published an updated annual survey of higher education plan sponsors, finding many are beginning to adopt the retirement plan features shown to be popular in the corporate sector. In addition to a marked increase in the adoption of automatic enrollment and automatic deferral rate increases for participants, more than three-fourths of higher education plan sponsors have implemented an investment policy statement, compared to 60% in 2015.Read more >
Participants’ Multiple Accounts Makes Measuring Success a Challenge
Plan sponsors should be aware that many participants have assets invested with providers that do not serve their current plan, which has implications for measuring readiness.Read more >
Reports of Pension Funded Status for October Are Mixed
Providers tracking S&P plans estimate a slight decrease in or flat pension funding ratio, while other estimate a slight increase. Most agree funding is up for the year.Read more >
2022 Recordkeeping Survey
Defined Benefit Plans May Have New Life
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Which are the most northern, southern, eastern and western U.S. States?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
Products, Deals and People
Retirement Industry People Moves
Segal Hires Former Consultant on Employee Benefit and Health Care Strategies; Janney Montgomery Scott Adds New Workers to Equity Research Group; Recordkeeping and Consulting Firm Joins ABG; and more.Read more >
Economic Events
THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Tomorrow, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will reveal the producer price index for October. Wednesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will reveal the consumer price index for October, the Census Bureau will report about retail sales for October and business inventories for September. Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report. Friday, the Census Bureau will report about housing starts for October.
Market Mirror

Friday, the Dow closed 39.73 points (0.17%) lower at 23,422.21, the NASDAQ was virtually unchanged at 6,750.94, and the S&P 500 decreased 2.32 points (0.09%) to 2,582.30. The Russell 2000 was virtually unchanged at 1,475.27, and the Wilshire 5000 was down 6.68 points (0.02%) at 26,774.36.


The yield for the 10-year Treasury note was 2.397%. The yield for the 30-year Treasury bond was 2.877%.


WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending November 10, the Dow lost 0.50%, the NASDAQ was down 0.20%, and the S&P 500 decreased 0.21%. The Russell 2000 fell 1.31%, and the Wilshire 5000 finished 0.37% lower.
The SEC Forms Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the formation and first members of its Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee. Its initial focus will be on the corporate bond and municipal securities markets.  Members of the committee will provide advice to the Commission on the efficiency and resiliency of these markets and identify opportunities for regulatory improvements.Read more >
NQDC, 457 Plans Included Among Senate Tax Reform Targets
Many retirement plan changes are called for in the U.S. Senate version of tax reform. The proposal “applies a single aggregate limit to contributions for an employee in a governmental section 457(b) plan and elective deferrals for the same employee under a section 401(k) plan or a 403(b) plan of the same employer. Thus, the limit for governmental section 457(b) plans is coordinated with the limit for section 401(k) and 403(b) plans in the same manner as the limits are coordinated under present law for elective deferrals to section 401(k) and section 403(b) plans.” Related to this, the proposal repeals the special rules allowing additional elective deferrals and catch-up contributions under section 403(b) plans and governmental section 457(b) plans.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1775, during the American Revolution, U.S. forces captured Montreal. In 1927, the Holland Tunnel opened to the public, providing access between New York City and New Jersey beneath the Hudson River. In 1942, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure lowering the minimum draft age from 21 to 18. In 1971, the U.S. spacecraft Mariner 9 became the first spacecraft to orbit another planet, Mars. In 1977, the comic strip “Li’l Abner” by Al Capp appeared in newspapers for the last time. In 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. In 1986, U.S. President Ronald Reagan publicly acknowledged that the U.S. had sent “defensive weapons and spare parts” to Iran. He denied that the shipments were sent to free hostages, but that they had been sent to improve relations. In 1995, Greg Maddox (Atlanta Braves) became the first major league pitcher to win four consecutive Cy Young Awards. In 2001, U.S. President George W. Bush signed an executive order that would allow for military tribunals to try any foreigners captured with connections to the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. It was the first time since World War II that a president had taken such action. In 2009, NASA announced that water had been discovered on the moon. The discovery came from the planned impact on the moon of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS).
SURVEY SAYS RESPONSES: Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Of the provisions affecting retirement plans, which do you think would be MOST beneficial to retirement savers?” Of the provisions in the recently proposed tax reform legislation that were listed (It was not an exhaustive list of provisions), nearly half (47.6%) said maintenance of the limit on the amount of contributions that can be made to defined contribution (DC) plans on a pre-tax basis is the most beneficial to retirement savers. More than one-quarter (28.6%) chose “60-day-period to come up with an outstanding loan balance upon termination of employment or plan termination and roll the amount into an IRA or eligible retirement plan,” 14.3% selected “deletion of the six-month suspension of DC plan contributions after taking a hardship withdrawal” and 9.5% chose “allowance of a hardship withdrawal without taking a plan loan first.” In verbatim comments, one reader isn’t sure any of the provisions are helpful to retirement savers, while another said a couple of the provisions listed are detrimental. A couple of readers believe the provisions will not pass. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “DB plans are still the most efficient method of delivering retirement income.” Thanks to all who participated in the survey!Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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